Review: Who Killed Spalding Gray? (Canadian Stage)

spaldingWho Killed Spalding Gray? takes a look back at the popular actor and writer, on Toronto stages

Always, with Daniel MacIvor, one leaves having to wonder: “how much of that is fact and how much is fiction?” Who Killed Spalding Gray?, at Canadian Stage until 11 December is much the same – there are all manner of threads about loss and grief and imagination that get knotted up and smoothed out.

When the show was over, it felt like I’d been served some very lovely window dressing that almost, but not entirely, concealed how very much this show is about neither the facts or the fictions, but the Truth.

Continue reading Review: Who Killed Spalding Gray? (Canadian Stage)

Review: A Better Place (Lily Rose Productions)

A Better Place Catherine Gardner,Chis Langille,Rachel Cairn photo by Bruce Peters

Toronto play tackles the right to die, but could use more character development

A Better Place, onstage now at Factory Theatre and produced by Lily Rose Productions, looks at the issue of end-of-life decision-making under a terminal condition. The protagonist of the play is a 55 year old widow named Stella (Kris Langille) who is active in her bowling and Catholic communities, and just beginning to date a new man (Edward Heeley.) Everything is looking up for Stella – until she is diagnosed with ALS. Continue reading Review: A Better Place (Lily Rose Productions)

Kid +1 Review: Second Nature (Canadian Opera Company)

dsc_4012-copySecond Nature delights young and old audiences alike, now on stage in Toronto

For quite some time, my six-year-old has been very curious about opera. He’s attended every other kind of performance I can think of offhand, but opera has remained a great unknown — until the wonderful folks at Canadian Opera Company presented a single day of their touring children’s opera, Second Nature.

He LOVED it, and is now campaigning to see The Magic Flute when it plays in the wintertime (even after being told it’s three hours long).

Continue reading Kid +1 Review: Second Nature (Canadian Opera Company)

Cheap Theatre in Toronto the Week of November 29th

Five Shows Under $25 in Toronto this Week

Live theatre shows in Toronto with ticket prices of $25 or less, playing the week of November 29th, 2016. Perfect for the budget-conscious theatre-goer. As befits the recent snowfall(s) in Toronto, we have a Christmas classic (with proceeds going to a wonderful cause) and more! Check out our full listing below the cut:

Continue reading Cheap Theatre in Toronto the Week of November 29th

Playlistings in Toronto for the week of November 28th

Shows That Caught Our Eye in Toronto the Week of November 28th

This week we have a vast array of shows that caught our eyes, from re-visited classics, to cheeky puppets, and even a foodie cirque troupe! As always — we have an editor on hand to gently suggest a few shows that caught their eye. This week our assistant editor Jess is here to pick out a few that caught her eye in red text? Check them out below the cut:

Continue reading Playlistings in Toronto for the week of November 28th

Review: Comfort (Red Snow Collective)

A production photo from Red Snow Collective's "Comfort."

Comfort weaves a horrific, beautiful tale with poetry and music for Toronto audiences

Red Snow Collective’s production of Comfort (playing at Aki Studio) is a lyrical, creatively staged, and outright heartbreaking drama about love and resilience in a time of horror and atrocity. I was spellbound by the complex storytelling and moving performances; this was a play that I will never forget.

Comfort is based on the true historical story of the thousands of “comfort women” — Korean, Chinese, Filippina, and others — brutally enslaved into forced prostitution by the Japanese army during WWII. As the previous sentence suggests, this play goes to some very dark places, but I loved the way it also cherishes the power of language to keep culture and human dignity alive.

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Review: The Angry Brigade (Elevated State)

Cast of The Angry Brigade, Toronto


Elevated State’s production of James Graham’s play The Angry Brigade is playing at Theatre Passe Muraille Backspace. The play is based on the search for, and arrest of, members of The Angry Brigade, a left-wing revolutionary group, in London in 1971. It’s a long play – two and a half hours with a 15 minute intermission. I left feeling as if I had seen two plays with the same cast. Continue reading Review: The Angry Brigade (Elevated State)

Review: Paradise Comics (Caitie Graham/Filament Incubator)

paradise_comicsToronto’s Filament Incubator presents Paradise Comics a play by Caitie Graham

Paradise Comics, written by Caitie Graham and presented by Filament Incubator, is a play about ordinary people, and the inherent drama in ordinary life. In a small basement in Kensington Market we get a glimpse into the heartache, suffering, and also love that might be happening to the teenage girl across from you on the bus or the woman in front of you in line at the grocery store. Continue reading Review: Paradise Comics (Caitie Graham/Filament Incubator)

Review: Black Boys (Saga Collectif/Buddies In Bad Times)

tawiah-mcarthy-tjomas-olajide-and-stephen-jackman-torkoff-by-jeremy-mimnaghToronto’s Buddies in Bad Times presents a show exploring the experience of being Black and queer

In 1989, as fifteen-year-old white suburban queer kid, I snuck downstairs into the basement at midnight and watched Marlon Riggs’ groundbreaking documentary Tongues Untied on PBS with the sound turned down so low I was two inches from the set, afraid to be caught but more afraid to miss a second of it. As Black Boys started to unfold on the Buddies In Bad Times stage I found myself catapulted back to the electric sensation of seeing genre-defining work about queerness and Blackness.

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Review: Measure for Measure (Thought for Food)

deborahdrakefordToronto’s Thought for Food re-imagines Shakespeare’s play Measure for Measure as a Weimar era cabaret

For Thought for Food’s stylish and passionate, all-female production of Shakespeare‘s Measure for Measure, the Red Sandcastle Theatre has been transformed into a Weimar Republic era cabaret. The ladies—of all ages, shapes and sizes—ply you with offers of song and drink, which they provide, and prime your senses for a tale of corrupt politics and lust. Continue reading Review: Measure for Measure (Thought for Food)